May 28th Memorial Day
Today we remember those who have perished in the defense of our country during their military service. It is the supreme sacrifice in order that others may live free, not something we should take lightly.
The day came after the Civil War, first known as Decoration Day when Southern families remembered their dead by placing flowers and other decoration on the graves. Since 1971 it has been known better as Memorial Day.
How to celebrate – Remember the fallen who fell for you. Visit the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Honor those who still serve in the military.
Today we celebrate those branches of military service that have served our country since it began. The day was created by Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson on August 31, 1949. It was signed into law by President Harry Truman on February 20, 1950. Finally beginning to be celebrated later that same year on May 19th.
Prior to today, each branched celebrate their own birthdays, such as the US Army who formed in 1775. Obviously they were around for the American Revolution and have served as the main battle force ever since.
The Navy formed the same year since the Revolutionary War took to the seas as well as on land. Ill prepared, the US Navy did a tremendous job with the few ships they had in service.
The Marines formed as well in 1775, serving primarily aboard the ships as sharpshooters and landing forces. Since then the Marines have been the first to arrive in nearly every military engagement America has been involved in.
To many people’s surprise, the US Air Force did not form in 1947. Prior to that it was a part of the US Army. Today it is a major strike force and a very deterrent defense against aggressors. During World War 2 the air force (Army) were among the few forces that could actually win against the mighty German Tiger tanks.
And far too often forgotten is the US Coast Guard. These men and women are known more for saving lives on the seas but it is their job to protect our borders from drugs, other illegal substances and invaders. While the US Navy is charged with foreign service it is the Coast Guard who keep watch at home.
How to celebrate – Thank those who serve, and have served, in our military forces. Study the history of each branch more closely. Be proud to be an American.
August 7th National Lighthouse Day
Over the years, it’s hard to imagine how many lives these beacons of light have saved. Built to warn of dangerous coast lines, hazardous shoals, and designate safe entry points to harbors, these lighthouses guide ships, and now planes, to safety.
The first known lighthouse in America was in St. Augustine, built in 1586. The United States formed the US Bureau of Lighthouses in 1789, eventually giving over control to the Coast Guard.
How to celebrate – Visit a lighthouse near you, Most lighthouses had caretakers that kept the light lit, study the history of those heroes of the seas. Build your own mini-lighthouse in your yard.
Nearly every country in the world owes their existence to the men and women who fought to allow civilians to live where they live, countries to grow where they have grown and civilization to thrive where it has been born. War is not brought on by soldiers, it is brought on by politics that get out of control or greed that civilians create. Yet it almost always seems to be the soldier that pays the ultimate price.
Britain ruled a great deal of the world by the deployment of it’s Navy, America has enjoyed it’s freedom because of the Navy and even the great empires of history have had powerful navies, even when landlocked.
And while the Navy protects us from large scale land invasion, the Coast Guard keeps us safe from those that might slip through the cracks. They also protect us from many of the stupid things we do, like sailing without life preservers and letting the fuel run out when we go boating.
Armed Forces Day was created by Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson on August 31, 1949. It was announced by President Harry Truman on February 20th, 1950. Then finally celebrated on May 20th, 1950. It honors all our fighting forces, the Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard for their service from day one in America.
Now I know to many of you it may get old to thank our military as much as we do. Honestly though, we cannot thank them enough, ever. None of us would be here if not for them. Most of the countries would not exist without them. And oddly enough, there would never be peace without them.
How to celebrate – Thank every uniformed serviceman/woman that you see today for your life. Thank any retired serviceman/woman for their past service. Fly your flag proudly, whatever country you are in, the idea of your flag is the freedom you’ve been given and the soul of every soldier who has ever fought and died for you.